What Is The Difference Between Architecture And Civil Engineering?

"I grew up in Madison, which is a pretty awesome town as far as architecture goes. There are a lot of amazing buildings here, and that’s how I realized I wanted to grow up to build things. I was just going to major in architecture and call it good, but then I heard about civil engineering, and now I’m really curious as to the difference between the two and which one you’d recommend I do. I am interested in building houses and private structures, but the idea of building large public projects like airports really interests me as well. Should I major in civil engineering or architecture, and what’s the difference?"

asked by Joe from Madison, WI

Although architects and civil engineers work to construct the similar structures, their duties, skills, and approaches to any project differ in various ways. It is important for aspiring students to understand these key differences, so they can best match their strengths and interests to a relevant educational program. Architects and engineers must work together to complete a project. This complementary relationship provides the client with a stable, safe, and aesthetically pleasing product. Each personality brings a different perspective to a project and balance is achieved through this interaction. Both act as project managers and liaisons among the various individuals involved. Ultimately, it is their job to create a structure for their clients and provide the plans to a design team for implementation.


Architects typically use a more creative approach to designing buildings and other structures. They are the artist, visionary, and theoretical designer. Their concern is for the aesthetics: form, atmosphere, and character. While they need to adhere to the principles of mathematics and scientific methodologies within their drawings, it is the engineer that translates an architect’s vision into practical application.

Editorial Focus

Areas of Expertise

Civil Engineering

Engineers use a more scientific, practical, and systematic approach to structural design. They are mathematic and scientific experts in their respective field. Typically, they use an architect’s blueprints as the basis of their work. Their job is to make the vision happen, using sound scientific and mathematical principles. When an architect is given a job, he or she will work within their budget constraints to develop a design; an engineer considers this budget, but their objective is to create a safe structure—one that will turn the vision into reality.

Educational Focus

Areas of Expertise

Both professions offer invaluable services to society. Without the visions and creative abilities of the architect, individuals would not have a way to formulate various types of structures. Without the practical expertise of the engineer, an architect’s designs would be nothing but drawings on paper. It is the architect who plans and creates, and it is the engineer who turns those plans and creations into safe realties.

While both use mathematics, science, and the principles of design in their work, they each provide a unique skill-set to the consumer. It is essential that students interested in structural design understand the fundamental differences between the two, so they can acquire the appropriate educational credentials.

Coursework is only similar in field, as the two occupations vary widely in perspective, inherent talents, and responsibilities. The two occupations need each other to complete a project, and it would be difficult to implement such plans without one or the other.

Career Spotlight: Architect

Join The Discussion - 41 Comments

  1. Cyril says:

    thank you. this article helped me out a lot. I’m going to study civil engineering as it seems more concentrated into everything.

  2. Mark says:

    thanks for telling that..now i know the A B C

  3. bryan says:

    I am a licensed Architect with a civil engineer brother who designs bridges. I have civil engineers work for me on projects that I oversee all the time.

    The author writes that civil engineers and architects “build public or private structures”. This is incorrect. They both typically “design” public or private structures.

    Architects do not typically take many “art related classes”, they take design studio classes. In these classes they learn to design buildings, urban environments, landscapes, and many other structures.

    Among other things, Architects are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of the public, overall building design and configuration, and coordination of civil, structural and MEP engineers. The engineers typically work for the Architect on building related projects. They have to do what the Architect says. If you like being told what to do by an Architect, then be an engineer.

    Civil Engineering is not a broad field. Typically civil engineers will do a few types of projects. For instance, it isn’t legal in most states for a civil who did not focus on structures to design the structural system for buildings or other structures. There is an old saying, “Architects know a little about almost everything and an engineer knows a lot about almost nothing.”

    Civil Engineering is not more difficult or longer. Both typically take 5 years to complete in school then after an internship they take tests. Civil Engineers typically only take 2 tests while Architects typically have to take 7 tests about many concepts from Structures to MEP to Site Design. That sounds pretty broad to me.

    Becoming a licensed Architect is much more rare than a licensed Engineer. Twice a year my state publishes a list of licensed Architects and licensed Engineers. There are easily 10 times more Engineers getting their license yearly than Architects.

    • Victor says:

      There are both factual and logical errors in what you write. To begin with it is untrue that Civil engineering is not a broad field. They design (and construct) a large variety of things like: bridges, dams, water treatment plants, water irrigation systems and sewers, canals, harbours, tunnels, road-and rail networks.

      They also conduct remediation of contaminated sites, do reasearch on materials and develop new ones. They also do things like mapping a city’s urban methabolism (if you know what that means) and surveying.

      It is true that most of them specialize in a few of these things but that does not contradicts that the field of Civil Engineering is broad. That engineers only pick a few types of project to work with does not mean that they have little to pick from.

      And the only sub-field that might be elusive to some CEs is the structural one. Otherwise they are basically free to pick any of them. That nobody works with all of these is mostly because they prefer some over others – not due to lack of opportunity to work with a wider variety of projects. It would also be impractical to work on as many different types of projects as possible.

      Also the engineers who take orders from architects specialize in buildings – but the ones who stay away from buildings will most likely never have to take orders from architects. And even on buildings it is usually the Project Manager who gives the orders. During controversies between an architect and engineer on a project, the dispute is most often settled in favor of the engineer by the project manager. This is because his/her task is most important to get done right.

      On most infrastructure projects like bridges, dams and tunnels architects are usually the ones who have to work within the parameters set by engineers. There are some exceptions to this,most notably small pedestrian bridges where Architects often get to decide more, but usually they are mere decorators on projects apart from buildings. Sadly Architects usually still take all the credit for grand infrastructure project thought out by engineers– like on the masterfully engineered Millau Bridge in France where the architect decorator got the credit.

      It was disingenuous when you described the exams that architects take and pointed out that they entail a wide variety subjects like structures and MEP – as if that contradicted what is said in this article. These different subjects do not represent different types of projects that architects can work on, rather they are tied to one type of project – that is buildings. That the different subjects simply cover different aspects off one type of project nullifies your argument about the tests showcasing that architecture is a broad field – as in having a wide variety of very different projects.

      It should be pointed out that what architects learn about the mechanical and structural aspects are on a more basic level than engineers. It is not like they could handle these things without engineers. If the could there would not be so many unemployed architects since everybody would jump at the opportunity to hire someone who can do the engineering and the architecture as well.

      Engineers get tested on things ranging from water treatment to structures to traffic planing and these subjects are not just different aspects of one type of project. The different kinds of subjects they learn does more accurately convey the variety of projects that engineers can work on.

      Your argument about many more engineers passing their final engineering exams than architects passing their architecture exam is disingenuous. The fact that more engineers pass their exams each year is closely tied to the fact that there are more engineering students to take tests to begin with. Also engineers have four years of practice while I believe that architects only have two years.

      In a lot of countries it takes less time and completion for an educated engineer to get an architecture license than ice versa. There are also more countries where you get to practice architecture without any sort of license than there are countries where you can do the same with Civil Engineering. In Sweden (where I am from) you are allowed to call yourself an architect without having studied it – the same does not go for engineers. Also in the Philippines engineers are allowed to sign architectural plans and documents (unless they recently changed that without my knowledge

      All the things that I listed that Civil Engineers can do (in the begining of my post) – they can do without aid from any Architects. However Architects can’t even design anything but the very simplest and smallest of buildings whithout engineers. And the possibilities that Architects have, in which shapes they can give buildings, can only increase when engineers have come up with new structural methodologies or invented new materials with greater flexibility. So Civil Engineers don’t need Architects but Architects are lost without Engineers.

      On a side note: Engineers provide pure drinking water to the poorest people on earth by installing water treatmen facilities in their countries, thus they save more lives than any medical profession does – but nobody gives a shit. Architect on the other hand bring surplus to rich people – they make sure that the office buildings, beach houses and opera halls are beautiful and pleasant – for this they are lauded as heroes. But anyone who knows the true scope of what Civil Engineers accomplish should understand that Civil Engineers are the greatest people on earth.

      • Dylan says:

        Why is it that I’ve only seen civil engineers downplay or even bash architects when not a single architect I’ve met has treated civil engineers the same? (Except claiming that civil engineers can’t “truly” design a building… Whatever that means) Most of your info seems extremely biased and a little jaded, especially your last paragraph. I actually attended a seminar at my uni held by an architect who works with a team to design some kind of irrigation system supported villages somewhere in Africa. She warned us that big, fancy designs aren’t always what we should seek, because in her line of work anyone who submitted such a design would be shown the door.

        • Karl says:

          Dylan. Trust me. As a civil engineer I can tell you that architects spend half their time designing and the other half bashing and calling us engineers irrelevant because we won’t allow them free reign on a project

          • Courtney Stephen says:

            I work as a civil engineer and often hear senseless architect bashing around the office. Every project will have some hitch, but architects and civil engineers always seem to point fingers at each other and deride each other without appreciating the work that the others do. I am very thankful for the infrastructure systems that have improved our health and cities. I am also very thankful for the beautiful spaces that architects provide for me to spend my time.
            Based on my personal experience, nobody would want to live in a world only designed by engineers. Trust me. It would be utterly depressing. Art is necessary and inspirational; never take it for granted.
            When I went to college I wanted to become a structural engineer who could also design buildings in an aesthetic way. But in reality, nobody can do both without an enormous time and education commitment. I am now caught in the limbo between the professions, trying to make my dream a reality. I am very skilled with math and science and love the practicality of tangibly improving people’s lives through civil engineering, but I yearn for the integration of a creative aspect in the design. Unless you are working in a research facility (and civil engineering frankly does not evolve very quickly), the design aspect of civil engineering is very minimal. It is more of problem solving than anything else.
            Anyways, please appreciate your neighbors. Just because they do something different from you does not make their work less valuable. Everyone works hard. Everyone contributes to the well-being of society. Everyone deserves to be recognized.

      • menard says:

        ‘Greatest people’ would be self-applauding for that matter. It’s not the scope nor how broad either field of practice entails. If we talk of professionalism engineers have their expertise and architects relatively speaks for themselves. Its like creating a human structure, architects design and plan how the human should look like and where the parts specifically go into place. Engineers on the other hand determines the strength of the bones and structural capacity to stand and perform in possible conditions.

      • Roger Balete says:

        That’s the reason why engineers cant become an architect. Because of single dimensional thinking. The way you describe the architects job is likely how you define a pilot as a driver or a captain as a timoner or a pharmacist as a salesman. Check the curriculum of architects so you would know your writings are ridiculous.

    • Lawrence says:

      Dear Bryan…Victor is right. There are factual and logical errors in what you had written here. First, its true that civil engineers need to follow what architects has told them but not at all time. For instance, ive got a major subj in civil engineering (i am civil) called Reinforced Concrete Design where our professor said that a beam must be designed to an architect’s wants such as its beam height, length, etc. BUT it is the Engineer who makes the plan and thinking to make that beam possible with the responsibility that it won’t fail so its wrong to say that architects are the one whose responsible. 2nd, you said “that Architects know a little about almost everything and an engineer knows a lot about almost nothing”. Here is where I strongly disagree because engineers study all aspects as to physics, integral, mechanics and all math that life has to offer but for architects, they are only much oriented in fashion designs which only makes the work of a civil engineer much more challenging. so it is Civil that is broader than those architects.

      Reason why engineers are 10 times more than architects in receiving their licences is that engineering is more in demand compared to architects.

      • Carl says:

        Lawrence, you missed an important point in Architecture. Architecture is nothing like a-much-oriented-in-fashion design-professional. Using your analogy, the architect decides whether the dress will be short, will have a sleeve, shall be made of which material, exact size for the body aside from color and other aesthetic features. Engineers are intended to make the dress an actual dress by making sure that the dress will have enough thickness to be able to actually protect the body, correct material that you can actually sew them (or glue them), suggests that buttons might be better than clips, and suggests methods of sewing.

        Architects are AS BROAD and AS CHALLENGING as civil engineering. True, CEs do the heavy math, but architects do a little math, a mix of psychology, a bunch of art and history, material science, landscapes, mechanical, structural, sanitary systems, construction technology and years of space analysis of habitable buildings. As CEs plan how to make the building stand, Architects plan how to make the building work.

        • Carl says:

          PS. That only applies to projects that are architectural in nature. CEs do their own for roads, dams, bridges and other structural in nature.

        • Arick says:

          Carl.. you are wrong. you said that architects tell whether there must be sleeve in dress, etc and engineers suggest the thickness, whether button or pin is better etc… but i must say engineers does not suggest about thickness or materials… engineers calculate and tell absolutely that what must be done. Engineers decide by calculation whether the architectural design is possible or not. without engineer’s calculation, an architect’s design will never be established. if an engineer calculates and finds that the design is not possible then it is a must for the architect to change his design as per engineer’s recommendation. Yes it is true that engineer’s work with architects in many projects, but not under architect. both are equal. but at the end engineer’s possible calculation decides the design if possible or not… Architects are technical dreamers, engineers are the ones who make the dream real. Without engineers architects cant be able to build, but without architects, engineers can build upto any size… may be boring design but any size is possible.. but architects without engineers cant build giant structures… it will fail

    • Marco says:

      I agree with you.
      It is clear a frustrated engineer wrote this article.
      Poor them!

  4. manoj says:

    Thanks Bryan. I am confident now that architecture is the best for me. What happened is my friends suggested that I take civil engineering rather than architecture and I was confused. Thanks a lot your article!

  5. Jed says:

    I guess….no…..I’m pretty sure that both architect and civil engineers needs each other in order to build a fine and beautiful structure.They’re like a sugar and coffee.Without sugar coffee tastes nothing and sugar without coffee–no use except if you have a juice powder or a milk powder.I was just kidding. Its simple architect and civil engineers are both reliable and important in our world today.We should not take advantage in both field.

    I’m an upcoming college student and I am also confused between the two. Thanks to both Bryan and Victor now I know my choice.I will study civil engineering not because of what Victor said but because of what Bryan said.Theirs no point on arguing of which is better. Because both field is broad.If your confused try looking at the negative side and when you feel down.Think a lot more time again and again and again.That is why I chose the most negative side to prove them wrong.So now I guess my choice is much more better and it feels great……..

    • Will says:

      I dont like sugar in my coffee! Why not try it black? That is when you really taste it.

  6. John says:

    Hi, I’m still studying in a university with civil engineering and architecture program and you know what? Civil engineering students always ask for architecture students to draw for them. All kinds of structures …. mention it.. And I think architects build some history like st. peter’s basilica.. tempiettos and even pyramids.

    • Will says:

      People always say engineers or architects built all these wonders over the world, but previous to the 1800’s one job entailed both and it was called a mason. Arguing over who did what is ridiculous. Also, just because some civil engineers ask for designs doesn’t mean that all do. Those civil engineers have an ethical issue of cheating. Also, I had last semester a course on matrix analysis of structures. From this course I designed and wrote my own code to produce a structural design program. While architects design the human interface with the building such as lighting and many integral parts don’t say civil engineers aren’t capable of designing a building. Frankly I find it rude and childish everyone taking pot shots at each other, have more respect for our disciplines and yourselves.

  7. Shane says:

    If anyone else is confused on which course he must take, I think, he should look into which field he interests the most. If he wants art, then take Architecture and in the other hand, if he wants science then take Civil Engineering. Both programs are important. They rely on each other.

    For instance, if we combined these two programs, the result will be a disaster of information over load for everybody. That is why they were apart from each other because at the end of the day, there are still different. Professors have aesthetic approach for architects and scientific for civil engineers.

    • samuel says:

      Hey guys it’s nice to read your views and what I think is this if one appreciates architecture then become an architect and if one appreciates civil engineering then become a civil engineer. All in all do what is your best choice don’t forget to think about it.

  8. cerinyare says:

    Thanks all, i was confused different between these two fields but now i have more information about each and i want to be engineer according to my country needs, demands and also my high school field

  9. jano says:

    Architects are responsible for designing a structure along with its finishes. The engineer’s job (specifically structural engineer) is to follow the architects lead and make the design work. Architects need to be familiar with all the legalities and codes involved with building a structure while the engineer determines cost of project works, drainage, all load bearing structural elements ie. floor slab thickness and reinforcement, beam sizes, column sizes, base sizes, roof trusses and about 1000 other things. All of these are crucial in structural design because they determine whether a structure will stand or collapse under the applied load.

    While an architect gets all the credit for successful designs, the engineer takes all the risk. Even after 50 years, if people find cracks in walls, its a result of poor engineering.

    Apart from structures (buildings), civil engineers design roads (probably the most complicated aspect of civil engineering), water and waste water treatment facilities, sports grounds, airports, town planning, quantity surveying, land surveying, excavations,stormwater management, project management and about 1000 other things. We go as far as to obtaining weather data to determine how wind and rainfall will influence structures and then design with all these factors in mind.

    The sub disciplines of civil engineering are: structural; urban; transport; water; construction; contract management; geotechnical and town planning.

    Engineering is extremely challenging and I don’t think as rewarding as architecture. But if you love science, physics, maths, problem solving, research, budgeting, public works and infrastructure, urban planning, and improving communities then i would recommend civil engineering.

    I’m from South Africa and over here, after completing a 4 year degree you have to work for a minimum of 3 years before you can submit an application to be acknowledged as a Professional Engineer. After that you need to keep attending various courses to keep up to date with the latest technologies in the field. Each course gives you points. Every year you have to submit these points to Engineering Council of South Africa, who then renews your membership as a professional in the field of civil engineering.

    Its pointless arguing about which profession is better because I’ve never done architecture. I work with them on various projects and sometime they want us to do the impossible but we manage. At the end of the day, the client decides what he/she wants.

    Study whatever you’ve got a passion for. I was exposed to this from a young age and I fell inlove with it. At times, I hate what I studied because we don’t really earn much, but there’s nothing else I’ld rather do than what I’m doing now.

    I hope this helps you with your decision. Now for an architect to explain his/her profession without bashing engineers

  10. Jinyong says:

    I am going to graduate high school soon, but I haven’t decided yet about what I am going to choose between architecture and civil engineering. I am not good at drawing and imagination. Could you give some advice?

    • David M says:

      You don’t have to be good at drawing to become an Architect, you will learn that during your training, and not everything is about imagination, you will learn to follow a design process, function-form-structure. this will create a path were your imagination will flow.

      This is a Cat-Dog fight, the architect dreams are the engineers nightmares, use this example, i need an space to be relaxed, and protected from natural elements, like sun, rain, etc. If you ask and engineer he is totally capable of design and build a room that satisfies your basic needs. Not a problem.

      As an architect i will consider the type of activities you have plan for that space, your personality, i will review the location of the room, the orientations to be warm in winter and fresh during the summer, if is a relaxing place i will look to gain just sky light in an specific angle hitting a wall with an specific color to illuminate the room, i will design the space with an architectural current, minimalist, organic, canonical, etc. All my knowledge will be at your service and all the time you are learning, you will became an specialist in several fields. And if you tell to an engineer that you need to put 10 columns he may tell you that you only need 2 to support the roof, but those 10 columns have an architectural purpose according to your design.

      We need civil engineers to make our dreams come true, that’s a fact. And of course there could be engineers who can also consider this elements, well thats an engineer with a sense for Architecture. As the same way you can become an Architect with lot of knowledge of civil engineering like Santiago Calatrava, an architect who got tired of getting “NO” as an answer from all engineers to construct his projects. Google him.

      Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.

  11. matthew ansong says:

    But why do architectural students spend much time in school before they can be called real architects??

    • Ryu says:

      Because architecture is not an easy profession.

  12. Maundy says:

    I am a registered and licensed architect. I have high regards and respect to engineers (not only civil engineers but other engineering professionals as well) because they all have specializations or specific jobs that they need to perform effectively so that the project meets success.

    Let us take a few moments to analyze the words we use in the professions we are looking at:

    1) Architecture, by the root word architect, means originator or creator. It is also used in other ways like Landscape Architect, Naval Architect, and the Architect of the Constitution (that obviously pertains to different fields). In Architectural Engineering (most commonly known as architecture), the architect plans and designs a building in its totality, basically focusing on aspects of Aesthetics, Function, and Strength, without disregarding other aspects like building economics, sustainability, social acceptability, among others.

    2) Civil/Structural Engineers are equally very important. They have the hard job of “designing” the same building that the architect originated for its structural stability, making sure that the building can withstand the test of human load, calamity, and time.

    3) Mechanical, Electrical, Sanitary/Plumbing, Electronics/Communications, and other Utility Engineers integrate their “design” to the same building based on their specific fields of expertise.

    4) Interior Designers and Landscape Architects integrate to the same building their “designs” based on their own specific domains.

    All these building professionals are equally important for a project to be perfectly accomplished.

    I hope these facts help. 🙂

  13. Mac says:

    Can you send me an email about “Which is better between being an engineer or an architect?” I think for society now needs more engineers but I think being an engineer have to study harder and needs a lot of time, I’m a poor boy so it’s a problem to me when I go to the university. Maybe being an architect is easier but in the future maybe I can earn a little money from it. However, If I choose to be an engineer, I will earn a lot but I will be very hard. What do you thing should I choose to be an engineer or an architect?

    • Vash says:

      Then be an engineer, it will help you a lot in the future on applying for a job easily, civil engineering is always in demand profession in the society either on urban or rural areas.

  14. jacob says:

    I read many of the comments and suggestions people from different country posted here.I got to understand from the discussion here that an architect deals with the aesthetical part of a structure namely a building.That means he/she draws the plan with the necessary specifications and dimensions in the provided area or location according to the situation and according to what the client demands..and a civil engineer dealts with the structural side of the same building or structure.That means they consider the load and the forces the structure is about to face and designs a proper structure to bear all that.I hope this is all that is about them from your opinions.When it comes to the building of a structure an architect is the superior hand to whom the client first approaches and gets the right plan and suggestions.Then only the client seek for a structural engineer to take on the building’s structural aspects.The civil engineer designs the each structural parts according to his ideas and inferences taking the concerns of the client.As the construction commences several other engineers takes part throughout its different phases monitoring its progress.So in the complete process they will have to obey the instructions the architect gives and consider them seriously as he will be closely following them up.This is what I understood on the difference between these two streams.I humbly invite corrections if iam wrong at any of my views.
    I have also got a question to ask…If architect is the one who is working in the designing of various drawings like overview frontview crosssectional views etc ,then why are the engineers been taught how to draw all them in the colleges..

    • Abby says:

      I think CEs need to understand the architects’ drawings, that’s why they have to learn how to draw it too. Even my friend majoring in Interior Design needs to draw technical sections and plans just like architects and CEs do . Moreover, CEs have to be able to draw corrected designs and give them back to the architects and other engineers, don’t they?

  15. Christopher Carlier says:

    It sounds to me like studying civil engineering would be a great choice. I never knew that engineers are among the top-paid professions world-wide. It is nice to know that you would be able to be flexible and open up to a road of great careers. This is challenging but rewarding as well because life is never boring. Society needs engineers because they develop everything from necessary forms of safety to devices and technologies that enrich life. Thanks!

  16. Raiyan says:

    By reading the whole article and the discussion, I think both Civil and Architecture are equally important in a construction. Without architect, the building’s base plan will be improper. And without a civil engineer, the fitness of the construction would be weaker (But some cretive engineers would manage, I think) So one has to choose his profession on the basis of his passion. Both are good professions and have good scope. I’m too a student and this article helped me a lot.

  17. ben says:

    I didn’t heard about a women architect…is this profession better for girls?

  18. Abby says:

    I’m a college student majoring in Architecture, and I have a close friend who’s majoring in Civil Engineering. Both of us are taught that architects and civil engineers need each other. From my architecture-based point of view, architecture doesn’t only talk about aesthetics. According to Vitruvius, building has to fulfill its aspects of Aesthetics, Function, and Structure to be an architecture piece. Who says we architects don’t study about structure? We do. But what makes us different than CEs is we study the theories and logic of it, while CEs will count any forces working on the structure, such as wind forces, water forces, tectonic forces, and more details about the material’s strength and physical aspects.

    On the other side, architects focus on space-making, based on the knowledge of art (form), history, psychology, geography, physics, even economy. The main goal of architecture is not only to design buildings that people can use, but also designing buildings that people can feel. That’s why we make concepts when we design. We combine the ideas to make a building ideal, logic, and beautiful. We design with hope that people will feel it as a part of themselves, as something that reflects themselves. Anyway, we don’t say that beautiful buildings have to be luxurious and expensive. Even the issue now speaks that more efficient a building, then it is better.

    Architects and CEs need to rely on each other because they are different and have their own plus-and-minus sides. Architects need CEs to make sure that structurally the buildings can stand up firm and safe, and CEs need the architects to make sure that the spaces inside and outside the buildings are comfortable and livable.

    You don’t have to be great on drawing to be an architect, because later you’ll learn how to draw in designing studios. What you need is imagination to combine those ideas and clients’ needs and wants between the aspects mentioned above. But if you prefer numerical logic, math, and physics, you better major in Civil Engineering. You have to remember that both of them have the job as designers. Even on designing buildings and structures they need some other professionals, such as MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing), landscape architects, and on larger scope, even city planner.

  19. Marco Chui says:

    You must be an engineer. The argument are so one-sided and unfair to the architects. Please understand the profession before you start your argument. I would say in general both jobs are trying to solve a problem. while the engineer trying to find a technical solution, an architect usually trying to think of creative alternatives.

  20. Roger Balete says:

    The author must be a civil engineer.. Because he doesn’t know what architect does..I am an architect and a 2nd year civil engineering student… I know the distinctions of both and i can say that engineering focus only on a specific dimensions of work with a set of repetitive methods where the only thing that vary are the problems. while architecture focuses combinations of engineering, art and a planning work with diversed solutions to a diverse type of problems. It involves social,environmental, cultural, historical factors that does not tackle up and cant be solved using formula…Engineering is merely more like problems with definite solutions that you can even perfect the exam, unlike architecture, it takes thorough understanding to get closer to a perfect solution, but cant still guarantee perfection. When you put an engineer and architect in a situation, An engineer thinks, if somebody throws a bottle on the street, the bottle eventually breaks into pieces, while the architect thinks, what went on the mind of the person that he threw that bottle and broken down into pieces. Its like looking at the bigger picture. It doesn’t mean that engineers use number they are dealing with the hardest jobs. Medical doctors and lawyers have inferior or doesn’t even deal with extreme formula but they are paid well because of their tough and important jobs. and so the architect. Being architect while studying civil engineering contributes a lot to deal with a subjects like pushover works. Its a multidimensional thinking that is there that made me ahead of my civil engineering classmates. That’s why i finish my assignment ahead and sleep early and have my papers copied by my classmates the next day.I got A grade while my classmates fail……so dont question the methods of architecture… Its organic way of thinking that is more complex than engineering that is mechanical and specific…

  21. Tiff says:

    You guys are too intense and quick to be offended and quick to criticize. Honestly, I just want a direct answer. If I want to design houses and small structures for a small business or something would it be more beneficial to take the civil engineering track or the architecture track?

  22. Arick says:

    Engineers can build any structure of any size…. they can build a world.. but in order to make it beautiful and lively, architects are needed…

  23. Kevin Chayuga says:

    I disagree with the point that engineers must take orders from the architect. Yeah at times we do, but not all the times. As engineers we take our orders from actual facts & figures, no fantasies involved. Purely complex mathematics & deep broad physics with intense simulations. Architect only have much PR that they’ll always be the ones meeting clients for newer projects. Education wise, civil engineering is in most cases argued to be the toughest course in most universities, a debate that records zero mentioning of architecture .

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